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Stunning winter conditions continue in Snowdonia

~ Wednesday, 24th February 2010

Winter conditions lately have been superb high up. The gullies high on Snowdon and surrounding peaks survived the savage thaw during mid January. The lower ice routes all went, sadly! Recent cold temperatures and heavy dumps of snow have brought alot of the mountains back in to fantastic winter condition.  Two weekends ago, three budding alpinistes, Chris, Mark and Neil employed me for three days of mountaineering training to prepare them for a trip to Mont Blanc this coming summer. We had a great day in the Glyders, heading into Cwm Cneifion for some snow skills followed by an ascent of Corner Gully at the back lefthand side of the cwm. Our descent of Y Gribin and the snowy slopes into Cwm Bochlwyd gave the guys a good taste of things to come over the weekend.  On day 2 we headed for Parsley Fern Gully. Bucket steps low down lead easily to main gully. Five short pitches took us to the top. Superb conditions.   During the following week I did a few days for Plas y Brenin. The finest by miles was last Wednesday when I joined a group on a week long mission to climb the Welsh 3000 footers in winter. Blue skies, light winds, awesome views and even Broken Spectres on the clouds below the top etched this day in memory for a long time to come. We left Pen Y Pass and followed the PyG track to below Bwlch Goch. The slopes to the bwlch were snowy and untracked giving the whole area a really remote feel. A handful of people were on Crib Goch that morning, it was stunning.  Crib y Ddysgl was delightful, probably easier that when it is dry due to the good snow and security afforded by crampons. Snowdon was easy, but busy!! No surprise there. Conditions at the moment are going through a thaw, short lived hopefully, but atleast it gives the birds and animals a chance to forage softer ground at low altitudes.Thanks for reading, more to come soon!!